40 years ago, Disney's Contemporary Resort was prefabbed with tech that is still cutting edge

Partially completed frame
© Imagineering Disney Blog / Partially completed frame

There is nothing new about high-rise prefab; Cory at BoingBoing points to the Contemporary Resort at Disney World, where 40 years ago they built a giant A-Frame superstructure (a monorail runs through it) and then plugged prefabricated steel hotel units into the frame.

This is the same technique that SHOP is using to build the Atlantic Yards prefab towers today. There are advantages (every unit is the same because the frame is taking the structural load) and disadvantages (duplication of structural elements, problems with fireproofing). However if you are building as high as the Atlantic Yards or with angled walls over an atrium the size of this one, it is about the only way to go. Great photographs of early prefab at Imagineering Disney

Homage must be paid to Archigram and their version of Plug-in City:

plug in city design archigram image

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